Pure evil reared its ugly head again and one evil man shot and killed 11 innocent Jews praying on the holy day of Shabbat. As we near the final redemption with the imminent coming of Moshiach, things seem to get darker and darker and harder to even try to comprehend. But our role now is to add light. Because ultimately light prevails over darkness and banishes darkness.
This year there are two months of Adar because it is a Jewish leap year.
And we know when there are two months of Adar, as the Lubavitcher Rebbe said, the idea of simcha is even stronger. The Rebbe said that simcha poretz geder, breaks barriers. And since there is a concept of botul bshishim (nullification within 60, as, for example, when something non kosher is nullified with 60 times of kosher food) then also in a leap year, all negative thingsand undesirable elements are nullified within the 60 days of simcha in Adar.
We are now past the wonderful inspiring days of the month of Tishrei and back to “real” life. But in all honesty, what is more real to a jewish soul? The uplifting spiritually fulfilling yomtovim of Tishrei? Or the mundane life of work and day to day chores?
Wishing everyone a ketiva vchatima tova, shana tova umetukah!
It is that time of year again: the month of Elul (yemei rachamim, days of mercy). The Alter Rebbe , the first Chabad Rebbe, gives a moshul (an example) of how accessible G-d is to us during this month. He compares this to a King who leaves his palace and goes out to the fields to greet the common people. In Elul, Hashem comes out to the field, with a smiling countenance, waiting for our petitions and prayers in preparation for the upcoming New Year. So start praying! This is the time to ask for everything that you want and need.
In past generations people had patience. They had no choice. They had to work hard, cut wood to make fire so they had eat, grind wheat to make flour so they could bake bread, stand in long lines to get their food rations filled etc. etc. People suffered a lot and had no options to even defend themselves. They learned to suffer patiently.
The Lubavitcher Rebbe in a sicha on parshas Balak said the following:
My husband and I have been considering downsizing: perhaps getting a smaller home or even a condo. But then I begin to panic. Where will we store all the things we have accumulated over the years?
When we first got married, we had very few things. We lived a simple life, no luxuries, and it was very easy to pick up and move. It was also a very happy life. The less material items we had, somehow the happier we were.
But as time went along we accumulated things: more furniture, more clothing, more dishes, more pots etc. etc.
So many of our youth are confused (actually not only youth….many mature adults as well). WE are in a very deep galus, a very dark spiritual situation where people are looking for happiness from external sources. People are not happy deep inside. People have lost that enthusiasm and simcha that chassidim have always had. Why is that?
I think mostly because we are still in galut, exile! Jews have had enough of galut. We need redemption.
So what does it mean when we say Pesach is the season of our freedom: zman cheruteinu? Of course we commemorate leaving Egypt and becoming a free nation. But we know that every Jewish holiday is not just about commemorating the past. Each holiday is applicable on a spiritual level even today.
So what is true freedom?
Each and every one of us has limitations and things that prevent us from serving Hashem with true joy. We have various problems, whether spiritual, material or even within our own personalities.